Interesting Facts About Twins

Eli Shadrack and John Meshark Phipps
(born Feb. 14, 1803 or 1812 in Abingdon, Virginia, USA)
Dale and Glen Moyer
(born June 20, 1895 in Ohio)

The Guinness Book of Records lists the Phipps Twins as the oldest surviving twins ever claiming that Eli died on February 23, 1911, living to be 108 years, 9 days and that John died on December 10, 1916, living to be 113 years, 300 days. But thanks to the investigative work of Robert Young and Louis Epstein, there is doubt raised on this claim. Those genealogy links indicate the Phipps Twins were born in 1812, meaning Eli died at age 99 and John lived to be 104. If that’s true, than the Kanie Twins of Japan were the oldest-living twins ever and the Moyer Twins, Dale and Glen, are actually the longest-living male twins ever, each living to be at least 105 years old.The Moyer Twins, Dale and Glen, who each turned 105 on June 20, 2000, were verified by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest set of living twins after the passing of Kin Norita in January, 2000. Glen Moyer passed away on April 16, 2001 at the age of 105 years, nine months and 26 days. He was survived by his twin brother, Dale, who celebrated his 109th birthday on June 20, 2004 before passing away on July 17, 2004 at the age of 109 years, 27 days. The Moyers also have a listing sister (as of Dale’s 109th birthday on June 20, 2004) who was aged 102 at the time.

According to a profile of the Moyer Twins from the 2000 Twins Days program, both men served in World War I. Dale lives in a house next to his daughter’s home in Alvorton, Ohio. A retired farmer, he was teaching Sunday School until he was 99. He and his wife Mary celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary in 1985 before she passed away the following year. Glen lived with his wife Mabel in a retirement home in Greenville, Ohio, until they both passed away within a year of each other. He was a former school principal and pastor.

Gulbrand and Bernt Morterud were twin brothers who were born December 20, 1858 in Norway. Bernt died at age 101 on August 1, 1960 and Gulbrand lived until age 105, passing away on January 12, 1964.

Longest Living Female Twins
Kin (l) and Gin (r)Kin Narita and Gin Kanie
(born August 1, 1892 in Nagoya, Japan)
Alice (Lindsay) and Eugenia (Collins) Smith
(born March 31, 1893 in Tarraville, Gippsland, Australia)

Twin sisters, Kin and Gin, celebrated their 107th birthdays in 1999 (a BBC photo of the celebration is shown to the right) before Kin passed away at age 107 years, 5 months and 22 days on January 23, 2000. Gin celebrated her 108th birthday in August, 2000 and died peacefully in her sleep on February 28, 2001 at the age of 108 years, 6 months, 28 days. By the way, Kin (who was the older of the two sisters) means gold and Gin means silver in Japanese. They are the only twins to ever each live to be at least 107 years old.The Smith Twins set a new record for longest combined lives of twins with 216 years+. Kin and Gin each lived to be 107 and lived a combined 216 years, 20 days, but Eugenia (105 years, 6 months, 8 days) and Alice (111 years, 92 days) lived to a combined 216 years, 9 months, 9 days, before Alice Lindsay succumbed in her sleep on July 1, 2004. Alice was the oldest-living person in Australia at the time of her death. The Smith Twins were identical and grew up on a dairy farm in Australia with five other siblings. You can read more about the twins at this forum posting.

The Guinness Book of World Records also makes reference to a pair of Bulgarian Twins, Vassilka Dermendjhieva and Vassila Yapourdjieva, who each allegedly lived to be 104 (1862-1966) and to Sarah and Mattie Duckworth who were each 102 on February 11, 1968, but for whom death certificate records can not be verified. Mildred Widmann Philippi and Mary Widman Franzini were identical twins born in St. Louis on June 17, 1880. Mildred died May 4th 1985 at 104 and Mary died about a month shy of her 108th birthday on May 6, 1988 at age 107. Allie Grubb Hill and Maggie Grubb Lambeth, were born in Davidson County, North Carolina on January 13, 1884. According to Social Security Death Index Records at, Alice passed away in January, 1990 and Maggie passed on March 6, 1990 after both had turned 106. Dr. Marie Hansen Morse and Hannah Hansen each lived to be 102. The twins were born on January 11, 1878 in Denmark but lived most of their lives in Nebraska before each passing away in 1980 (Marie on February 21 and Hannah on November 18).

Thanks to Louis Epstein, Robert Young and E.A. Kral for these updates.

Longest Living Twins (Current)
Sarah Selina Jeanmougin & Ellen Isabella Robertson (Hall)
(born in Wolsley, Saskatchewan, Canada on May 29, 1902)

Maria Hertzler (Eisley) and Anna Mentzer (Eisley)
(born in Carlisle, PA on May 29, 1904)

Ethelyn Carpenter (Burbank) and Evelyn Waddington (Burbank)
(born in Alfred, ME on June 8, 1904)

Charlotte Ford (Ferguson) and Isabelle Lettinger (Ferguson)
(born in Montgomery County, PA on July 30, 1904)

Lilly and Marie Clifford
(born in Pembina County, ND on Dec. 25, 1904)

Mildred Jones and Alice Cudmore (Abercrombie)
(born in Brockton, MA on May 31, 1905)

Era Hixson and Vera Honey
(born in Tennessee on March 31 & April 1, 1906)

We are aware of just seven sets of twins in the world who we believe could currently each be 100 years old-or-older as of this latest page update (see below for more pairs who were 100 in recent years) although we have not seen updates on several of the sets listed above in the recent past. (red indicates no updates seen on these twins in at least the past calendar year)With the passing of Thilsa Vangstad earlier in 2006, we now believe that the honor of world’s oldest living twins belongs to Sarah Jeanmougin and Ellen Robertson (Hall) who celebrated their 104th birthdays on May 29, 2006. Sarah lives with her niece in Mohave Valley, Arizona while Ellen lives on her own in Canada and although the sisters celebrated their most recent birthdays in different countries, each remain in excellent physical and mental shape.

Twinstuff’s list of the currently-recognized oldest living twins and other recent sets of twins who were likely the world’s oldest until the death of one of the pair is shown below:

  • 1990s-Jan. 23, 2000-Kin Narita and Gin Kanie, Japan (Kin passed away at age 107, 5 months, on Jan. 23, 2000)
  • Jan. 24, 2000-April 16, 2001-Glen and Dale Moyer, United States (Glen passed away at age 105, 9 months on April 16, 2001)
  • April 17, 2001-March 3, 2003-Jacoba Corenlia Dijkstra-van der Meulen and Cornelia Jacoba Tjaden-van der Meulen, The Netherlands (Jacoba passed away at age 104, 11 months on March 3, 2003)
  • March 4, 2003-May 21, 2004-Laura and Lillian Boucher, United States (Lillian passed away at age 103, 11 months on May 21, 2004)
  • May 22, 2004-Jan. 5, 2005-Maria and Enrico Appiani, Italy (Enrico passed away at age 104, 5 months on Jan. 5, 2005)
  • Jan 6, 2005-Feb. 5, 2006-Lena and Thilda Vangstad, United States (Thilda passed away at age 104, 6 months on Feb. 5, 2006)
  • Feb. 6, 2006-current-Sarah Selina Jeanmougin & Ellen Isabella Robertson (Hall), United States and Canada

On March 3, 2003, Jacoba Cornelia Dijkstra-van der Meulen died 28 days short of her 105th birthday, leaving behind her twin sister, Mrs. Cornelia Jacoba Tjaden-van der Meulen. The twin sisters were most likely the oldest living twins in the world for two years prior to Cornelia’s passing. (information supplied to us from Gert Jan Kuiper).

With the passing of Jacoba Cornelia, that likely meant that Laura and Lillian Boucher (born Mushynski) of Escanaba, Michigan, who each turned 103 on June 7, 2003, became the world’s oldest living twins. Lillian passed away on May 21, 2004 just a little more than two weeks away from her 104th birthday with her twin sister at her side. The identical sisters each married cousins with the same last name, were each widowed in the 1980’s and now live in separate locations in the same Michigan community. Meme (Laura) has seven children, including twins and is the great grandmother of two sets of twins. Her twin Lillian was childless, but was like a mother/grandmother to her twin’s many descendents.

After Lillian’s passing, we believe the oldest-living twins in the world were a set of male/female twins in Traona, Sondrio, Italy (the extreme northern part of Italy) by the names of Maria and Enrico Appiani who were born on July 23, 1900 and celebrated their 104th birthdays in July, 2004. The party was held in the retirement home where Maria resides. Her twin brother was in remarkable health and still maintained his own home even past age 104 while performing daily work in the vineyards of Northern Italy! (information and above photo supplied to Twinstuff by Giovanni Alunni)

Identical twins Lena and Thilda Vangstad of Minnesota who each turned 104 on July 29, 2005 were then believed to perhaps be the oldest surviving twins in the world. They lived together at a senior assisted living center in Osakis, Minnesota and were each in good health until Thilda suffered a broken hip in late 2005 and passed away on Feb. 5, 2006 at the age of 104 years, 6 months, 7 days. You can read more about this pair and see a picture of the twins with their younger sister (age 96) at our posting at this URL.

Sarah Selina Jeanmougin (Hall) and Ellen Isabella Robertson (Hall) each turned 104 on May 29, 2006 (seen in the photo to the right at their 100th birthday party). The Hall Twins were born in Wolsley, Saskatchewan, Canada (then known as the Northwest Territories) at 5:20 and 5:30 a.m. on May 29, 1902 (Sarah was the first-born). They were the 7th and 8th of 10 children born to Walter and Jane Hall. Sarah now resides in Mohave Valley, Arizona with her niece Andrea (Ellen’s daughter) and Ellen (wearing glasses in the photo) lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba on her own. They are both mentally alert and active. They are recognized by Guinness as the oldest-living twins in the world who were born in Canada.

Maria Eisley Hertzler and Anna Eisley Mentzer each celebrated their 100th birthdays together on May 29, 2004, but we have not seen an updates on them since that birthday.

Maria and Anna were driving cars until they turned 93 each and are still mentally alert and very active. They also have a family with longevity ties as an older brother lived to be 102. You can read more about these twins at this posting.

The Burbank Twins celebrated their 100th birthdays with family members in Springvale, Maine on June 8, 2004. Evelyn and her husband were childless, while Ethelyn has five living sons and daughters as well as 14 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

The Ferguson Twins are lifelong Pennsylvania residents and now live in neighboring towns, Abington and Hatboro, PA. At the time of turning 100, Charlotte had lived in the same house for 75 years. The Clifford Twins live together at Wheatland Terrace in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Neither twin sister was ever married.

The father of Mildred and Alice Abercrombie passed away two months before the twins were born. You can read more about these great ladies at this URL.

List of Twin Centenarians
(2000-2005 updates; let us know if you have updates to this list)
Twins Birthdate Birthplace/Residence Notes
Kin Narita & Gin Kanie August 1, 1892 Japan Each lived in three centuries Kin passed away on Jan. 23, 2000 at the age of 107, Gin passed away on Feb. 28, 2001 at the age of 108.
Alice (Lindsay) & Eugenia (Collins) Smith March 31, 1893 Tarraville, Gippsland (Australia) Eugenia passed away on October 8, 1998 at the age of 105, Alice passed away on July 1, 2004 at the remarkable age of 111 (Australia’s oldest-living person at the time of her death)!
Dale & Glen Moyer June 20, 1895 Ohio Each turned 105 on June 20, 2000. Glen passed away on April 16, 2001 at the age of 105 and was survived by his brother, Dale.
Maria & Dora Leuven Nov. 15, 1897 The Netherlands Twin sisters and nuns, Sister Oda and Sister Clementine, who each lived to celebrate their 103rd birthdays together. One of the Sisters passed away on November 17, 2000, two days after she turned 103.
Jacoba Cornelia van der Meulen & Cornelia Jacoba van der Meulen March 31, 1898 Bloemendaal, The Netherlands The fraternal twins celebrated their 104th birthdays on March 31 in their hometown near Amsterdam and were the oldest surviving twins in the world at the time. On March 3, 2003, Jacoba Cornelia Dijkstra-van der Meulen died 28 days short of her 105th birthday, leaving her twin sister Cornelia Jacoba Tjaden-van der Meulen behind. Cornelia passed away on August 8, 2004 at the age of 106 years, 130 days.
Gertrude Blasingame & Pearl Due July 27, 1899 Mansfield, AR Each turned 100 on July 27, 1999. Gertrude passed away on November 1, 2000 at the age of 101. Her twin, Pearl, succumbed on June 21, 2003 at the age of 103.
Estella Oksol & Luvella Olesen April 20, 1900 Hastings, MN The twins celebrated their 102nd birthdays with family members on April 20, 2002. Luvella passed away on Sept. 28, 2002 at the age of 102 years, 5 months, 8 days, and was survived by her twin sister, Estella, who died on March 1, 2003, also at the age of 102.
Laura and Lillian Boucher June 7, 1900 Menominee, MI The identical twin sisters celebrated their 103rd birthdays together on June 7, 2003. Lillian passed away on May 21, 2004 with her twin sister Laura at her side. For more information on these twins, please see this posting on our message boards.
Alice & Nellie Clarke June 15, 1900 Manchester, England Each turned 100 on June 15, 2000. According to the Manchester Evening News from June 15, 2001, Alice Clarke celebrated her 101st birthday alone as Nellie Clarke had recently passed away.
Mabel Harpine & Treva Pence July 19, 1900 New Market, VA Each turned 100 on July 19, 2000. Mrs. Harpine passed away on March 2, 2001 at the age of 100. Mrs. Pence passed away on May 22, 2001 also at the age of 100.
Maria and Enrico Appiani July 23, 1900 Traona, Sondria, Italy The World's Oldest Living Twins, Maria and Enrico Appiani, celebrating their 104th birthday. (photo courtesy of Giovanni Alunni)Each turned 104 on July 23, 2004. Mr. Appiani still maintained his own house and worked daily outdoors in the Italian vineyards until his death on January 5, 2005. He was survived by his twin sister, Maria.
Lena and Thilda Vangstad July 29, 1901 Osakis, MN The twins celebrated their 104th birthdays together (their birthday party photo from their 101st birthday party is seen to the right) on July 29, 2005. Thilda passed away on Feb. 5, 2006 at the age of 104 years, 6 months, 7 days and was survived by her twin sister.
The Vangstad Twins on their 101st birthdays.
Gertie May Bates and Mae Gertie Hubert Aug. 6, 1901 Vermillion, SD The twins were raised by grandparents after their mom died three days following their birth. Mae Gertie passed away on November 6, 2003 at the age of 102, while Gertie May celebrated her 103rd birthday alone before passing away on January 23, 2005 in David City, Nebraska.
Louise Dilworth and Lucy Turner Nov. 11, 1901 Unknown The twins celebrated their 104th birthdays together on Nov. 11, 2005 in Tallahassee, Florida. That’s Lucy on the left and Louise on the right in this 103rd birthday party photo. Lucy passed away at age 104 years, 1 month, 8 days on December 19, 2005.
Gerturde Eddy & Dorothy McMahon Nov. 13, 1901 Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Canada The twins celebrated their 101st birthdays on Nov. 13, 2002 in their respective homes in the Boston, Massachusetts area. We’ve had no updates on this set of twins since that birthday.
Hilda (Coldicott) Edwards & Mabel (Coldicott) Jeans Dec. 16, 1901 Stamford, Lincolnshire, England The twins celebrated their 100th birthdays together on Dec. 16, 2001 and were believed to be the UK’s oldest-living twins at the time. We’ve had no updates on this set of twins since that birthday.
Sarah Selina Jeanmougin & Ellen Isabella Robertson (Hall) May 29, 1902 Wolsley, Saskatchewan, Canada The twins celebrated their 104th birthdays on May 29, 2006 at their separate homes in Arizona and Canada. According to Ellen’s daughter on their birthday, “They both have all their facilities and doing just great.”
Willie Wells & Nannie Wright (Alcorn) Jan. 5, 1903 Ruffin, NC A mere three weeks before the twins 102nd birthday, Nannie passed away due to complications from a head injury suffered this past fall. Willie and Nannie were quite active together, and even attended the 2004 International Twins Association Convention in Springfield, Illinois at age 101. You can read more about the twins and see a great photo montage, including images of Willie today, at this newspaper web site.
Martha Taylor & Margaret White (Taylor) March 5, 1903 Kansas City, Missouri The twins celebrated their 100th birthdays together with family at a Nursing Home in Dana Point, California in 2003. Margaret passed away on March 1, 2004, just four days shy of the twins 101st birthday.
Ingeborg Bakke Secker & Bertha Bakke Gieseking June 18, 1903 Minnesota The twins celebrated their 100th birthdays together with family in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Bertha passed away in Dec., 2003 at the age of 100 years, six months, leaving behind her identical twin sister. Ingeborg passed away in March, 2005 at the age of 101 years, nine months.
Emmaleen Dickey (Brinkley) & Kathleen Eshleman (Brinkley) Dec. 15, 1903 Texas The twins celebrated their 100th birthdays together with family in Salem, Oregon. Kathleen passed away on June 10, 2004 at the age of 100 years, 5 months, leaving behind her sister Emmaleen.
Audrey Lynch (Jividen) & Olive Lynch (Jividen) Dec. 16, 1903 Turebada, WV Sadly, Audrey died on her 100th birthday shortly after she and her sister celebrated their milestone. Olive was still living as of Jan., 2004.
Maria Hentzler (Eisley) & Anna Mentzer (Eisley) May 29, 1904 Carlisle, PA The twins celebrated their 100th birthdays together with family in Carlisle, PA.
Ethelyn Carpenter (Burbank) & Evelyn Waddington (Burbank) June 8, 1904 Alfred, ME The twins celebrated their 100th birthdays together with family in Springvale, ME.
Charlotte Ford (Ferguson) & Isabelle Lettinger (Ferguson) July 30, 1904 Montgomery County, PA The twins celebrated their 100th birthdays together with family in Hatboro, PA.
Lilly and Marie Clifford Dec. 25, 1904 Pembina County, ND The twins celebrated their 101st birthdays together in Grand Forks, ND on Christmas Day, 2005
Mildred Jones and Alice Cudmore (Abercrombie) May 31, 1905 Brockton, MA The twins celebrated their 100th birthdays together in Brockton, MA in May, 2005. On June 1, 2005, Alice and Stephen Cudmore celebrated their 78th wedding anniversary.
Ella Vacek and Sylvia Pospisil June 15, 1905 Wilber, NE The twins celebrated their 100th birthdays together in Wilber, NE on June 15, 2005. Ella passed away on Jan. 5, 2006 at the age of 100 years, six months and 21 days and was survived by her twin sister.
Era Hixson and Vera Honey March 31 & April 1, 1906 TN A very unique set of twin centenarians as they were actually born on different days overnight 100 years ago. Era and Vera now live in Chattanooga and Murfreesboro, respectively, and did celebrate their 100th birthdays together. We’ve posted on this set of twins at this URL.


So who are the oldest-living male twins in the world? Entering 2004, the oldest living set in the United States probably was Emil and Sam Chiavetta of Olean, New York, who each turned 99 on March 3, 2004. But Sam Chiavetta passed away on June 28, 2004 leaving behind his identical twin brother, Emil. Another set of male twins, the Everett Twins from Oregon (born Sept. 6, 1902), also each turned 99 in recent years before the death of one of the twins in February, 2002.With the passings of one member of the Chiavetta and Everett Twins, one possibility for oldest living male twins could be now 97-year-old identical twins, Curtis and Curran Carter, who were born August 29, 1908 in Chandler, Indiana (Warrick County). Curtis and Curran each still live in their own houses (about 2 miles from each other in Newburgh, Indiana) and are active gardeners and mow their own lawn. They were married in a double wedding ceremony on January 23, 1937 and Curran and wife Thelma celebrated their 67th anniversary this past January. Curtis lost his wife Francis two years ago after they celebrated their 65th anniversaries. We also received an update from a family member of Elmer and Emery Mohney of Puxitany, Pennsylvania, who indicated to us that the Mohney twins were born on February 15, 1908 and celebrated their 97th birthdays earlier in 2005, but we don’t have any additional information on this set of twins.

We also want to salute the following sets of twins (ages refer to last verified ages of both twins from media or personal accounts): Sarah Taub Rubenstein, and her identical twin, Sophie Taub Shlefstein, who turned 98 on June 28, 2005 on different U.S. coasts (Sarah lives in Southern California and Sophie lives in Brooklyn, NY), Grace Luella Campbell and Edith Marcella Ritzi, born on May 22, 1907 in Weissport, Pennsylvania, and now residing in different nursing homes as they approach their 98th birthdays (March, 2005 update), 90-year-old identical twin sisters Mattie Vines-Jones and Libba Nixon of Columbia and Elizabeth City, North Carolina, respectively, who were born on January 7, 1910, and 90-year-old fraternal sisters Clara Ratermann, and Bertha Ellers of Breese, Illinois, who each turned 90 on June 10, 2000. Fred and George Wilson were born December 4, 1911 in Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada and were both in good health approaching their 90th birthday at the end of 2001. Millie and Connie Loveland of Brighton, England each turned 90 on March 6, 2001 and held the distinction at the time of living together in the same house for their entire lives!

Congratulations also to 92-year-old twins, Marjorie and Mildred Christensen, of Tipton, Iowa, who were born on Easter in 1910 and still live together in Iowa. We also want to salute Myrtle and Mable Minton, who each turned 90 on Christmas Day, 2002, Louise “Nana” Walker and Lucille “Bootsie” Quarles of Parsons, Kansas, who celebrated their 90th birthday on February 2, 2003, Lula Horton and Bula Pye of Fairfield, Texas, who each turned 95 on February 15, 2003, and Zelma (Foster) Bergen and Velma (Foster) Pummill, who celebrated their 92nd birthday on June 24, 2004 in their hometown of El Dorado, Kansas.

Some other male twins we’d like to salute is Frank and George Anding, who were born in Superior, Wisconsin on February 5, 1918 and who each celebrated their 85th birthdays in 2003. In addition to that achievement and both serving in World War II (Frank earning a Purple Heart), they are unique in that George married and had 15 children (10 boys, 5 girls), all singletons, while Frank married but had no children. Hubert currently lives in San Diego, California, while Herbert resides in Tupelo, Mississippi. Pat Williams, of Talbott, Tennessee, and Uncle John B. Williams, of Morristown, Tennessee were born October 19, 1914 and each celebrated their 91st birthdays in 2005.

One of the oldest male/female living sets of twins we’ve heard about is Herbert and Herta Lunow, who were born on September 16, 1907 in Lewisville, Texas and who celebrated their 97th birthdays together in 2004. They each lived in Lewisville until the year 2000, but Herbert now resides in Houston and Herta lives in Dallas. In the United States, we heard from relatives of Josephine (Josie) Jantz Stucky, who let us know that Josie and her twin brother, Joseph Jantz, celebrated their 93rd birthdays on March 14, 2002. The fraternal twins were born March 14, 1909 near Ruff, Washington and each have lived their entire lives in Washington State. Josie’s late husband was the brother of Joe’s late second wife so the twins spent many years married to a brother and sister. They are certainly one of the oldest living sets of male/female twins in the United States.

According to Japanese expert, Haruna Okumura, the oldest surviving twins in Japan (as of May, 2002) are Kame Higahiomi & Ushi Shinjo of Okinaya (93 years old) and Tsurino Kaneda & Kameno Muraki of Aichi (92 years old). The oldest-living set of twins in Sri Lanka are sisters, K.D.Enganona and K.D. Rosalinnona, who each turned 90 in the year 2003.

Oldest Twins
Mary Crombie, Illinois (1890-2003)
Edward Driver, Two Rock, CA (1890-2000)

The longest-living twin in history is Mary Belle Crombie (Murphy), born in Calhoun, Illinois along with her twin sister, Mabel Jean, on July 6, 1890. Mary Crombie turned 113 on July 6, 2003, and was the fourth-oldest living person in the United States and most likely the 9th-oldest in the world, before passing away on September 22, 2003 at the age of 113 years, 78 days. Mary’s twin sister, Mabel Jean, passed away at the age of 94, in December, 1984. Mary Belle (seen in the portrait to the right) married at least twice, and has a living daughter from her first marrage, Ruth, who was born in 1919. The information regarding Mary Belle was passed to centenarian experts, Robert Young and Louis Epstein, through her granddaughter.

Another twin we’d like to salute is Nellie Cross (Wakefield), who was born in the Plano/Centerville, Iowa area along with her twin brother, William Lorence Wakefield, on October 28, 1889. Also one of the world’s oldest living individuals in recent times, Nellie was 112 years, 5 months and 6 days old when she passed away on April 3, 2002. Her twin brother, William, passed away on December 18, 1972 at the ripe old age of 83.

Ed and William Driver, 1942One verified candidate for the male half of this category is Edward Driver, who was born in Two Rock, California on September 24, 1890 and died on June 28, 2000 at the remarkable age of 109 years, 278 days. Ed had a twin brother, William, who we believe lived into his 70’s before passing away in the 1960’s. A picture of the Driver Twins from 1942, when each were 52 years old, is shown to the right. Dale Moyer passed away on July 17, 2004 at the age of 109 years, 27 days.

Longest Living Triplets
Faith, Hope and Charity Cardwell, Elm Mott, TX (95 years-plus each)

The Guinness Book of Records credits Faith, Hope and Charity Cardwell (born May 18, 1899) of Elm Mott, Texas as the longest-living triplets. Faith Cardwell Davis died first on October 2, 1994 at age 95 years, 137 days. According to geneaologist Robert Young, Charity Cardwell Lawson died on January 6, 1995 at age 95 years, 233 days and Hope Cardwell Brock passed away on January 15, 1997 at age 97 years, 242 days. The Waggoner Triplets, Annis, Sarah and Francis, born on June 15, 1905, and each turned 93 on June 15, 1998. Again according to Robert Young, the first of the triplets, Sarah, passed away on January 24, 1999 at 93 years, 223 days.Lela, Lena, and Leta at their 90th birthday party celebrationWhile we don’t know for sure who are the world’s oldest living triplets currently, we believe that Lela Brown, Lena Hurst and Leta Myers, who were born as the Lawyer Triplets on May 2, 1914 in Washington County, Indiana, were most likely the only living triplets in the United States who were each in their 90’s. Lena passed away on February 25, 2005 and was survived by her two triplet sisters. The triplets are shown to the right at their 90th birthday party on May 2, 2004 (Lela, Lena and Leta from left to right) and also shown as young girls in the black and white photo shown above.

With their passing, we need to recongize Herbert Anderson, Verona Wallin and Helen Erickson, triplets who were born on February 24th, 1920 in San Francisco, California to Christine and Gustav Bergesen. Their mother died shortly after childbirth and they were adopted out to three different families in the church. At age 86, they are now living as Herbert Anderson in Sparks, Nevada, Verona Driscoll in Cameron Park, California, and Helen Stultz in Northridge, California. Other notable sets of triplets are Catherine, Frances, and Marguerite Kirchner, who were born August 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, NY, and who celebrated their 85th birthdays together in 2005 and who are all doing well as of June, 2006, and Julie Clark, and Robert and Thomas Taylor, who were born in Mather, Manitoba, Canada on December 4, 1920. All three currently reside in different Canadian provinces and they may be Canada’s oldest-living triplets (no updates on this set available since early 2005). Roy Hill, Ray Hill and Ruth Hill Jones celebrated their 70th birthdays on August 23, 2005 and all live in Paris, Tennessee.

World’s Tallest Living & Shortest Living Male Twins
The Lanier Twins with the Rice TwinsMichael and James Lanier, United States
7-feet, 6-inches each

The Lanier Brothers (shown in the picture to the right with the Rice Twins) played collegiate basketball at The University of Denver and UCLA, respectively.

John and Greg Rice, United States
34-inches each

The Rice Brothers (shown in the picture to the right with the Lanier Twins) have their own motivational firm, ‘Think Big’.

In the photo shown, the two sets of twins pose next to each other during a 1999 television appearance. A sad update to report…John Rice passed away on November 5, 2005 due to a heart attack suffered during a surgery. He was 53.

World’s Tallest Living & Shortest Living Female Twins
Ann and Claire Recht, Canby, Oregon
6-feet, 6-inches each

Claire (L) and Ann (R) at the 2004 Twins Days FestivalHeidi and Heather Burge

According to the 2004 Guinness World Records book, the tallest female twins in the world are now 17-year-old twin sisters, Ann and Claire Recht, of Canby, Oregon (Ann is at the left in the picture shown to the left). The Rechts come from a big family. Dad is 6-5 1/2, their Mom is 6-3, they have a 21-year-old brother who is 6-9 and a 19-year-old brother who is 6-8, and a 17-year-old sister who is a ‘mere’ 5-11. Ann and Claire are juniors at La Salle High School in Milwaukie, Oregon, near Portland.The Recht Twins took over honors as the world’s tallest female twins from Heidi and Heather Burge, who are each 6 foot 5 inches. The Burge Sisters (shown to the right) are from Palos Verdes, California and played collegiate basketball at the University of Virginia, where they helped guide the Lady Cavs to three Final Four appearances. The story of the Burge Twins was told in a made-for-TV Disney movie, ‘Double Teamed’, that premiered in January, 2002.

Heidi played professionally for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks in 1997 and 1998. Both are now married, retired from basketball, and live in Southern California (Heather) and Houston (Heidi). The photo of the Burge Twins to the right is from their collegiate playing days at Virginia. Heidi is on the left and Heather is on the right. It was taken by Jim Carpenter and is owned by the University of Virginia Athletic Department.

There may be new record-holders in this category shortly as Beatrice and Suzanne Bofia from Yaounde in Cameroon (Africa) are 6’7″ and 6’6″, respectively. But they’d have to be measured by Guinness to take over as the new record-holders.

You can also see a picture of the Meier Twins, Dawn and Diane, who are each 6’3″ at this web page here on Twinstuff.

Dorene Williams and Darlene McGregor, United States
4-feet, 1-inch each

History’s Shortest Twins
Matjus and Bela Martina, Hungary
31-inches each
Greatest Height Differential Between Twins
World's Tallest Twin, Don Koehler, as pictured in the 1977 Guinness Book of World RecordsKoehler Twins, United States

Don Koehler (1925-1981) and his fraternal twin sister were born in Denton, Montana. Born to tall parents (their mom was 5’10”, their dad was 6’2″), Koelher started an abnormal period of growth when he was 10 years old. He was 8’2″ tall before dying, one of the tallest men to live in the 20th Century. His twin sister was 5’9″ for a difference of 29 inches between the two twins. Koelher is shown to the right although the woman pictured is not his twin.Another candidate for greatest height differential between twins is 7’9″ Hussain Bisad of London, England and his 5’5″ twin sister, Khardra, who lives in their home of Somalia. These 27-year-old twins are 28″ apart in height, but Hussain is still growing (and likely soon to be officially proclaimed as the world’s tallest living human).

NBA Basketball Player Alexsandar Radojevic and his fraternal twin brother Zelimir are 7’3″ and 6’3″, respectively, a difference of a foot.

Longest Birth of Triplets
Christine, Catherine and Calvin Jamison, Kershaw County, SC (Jan 2-4, 1956)

We’re not sure if this is a verified record, but one candidate for the longest triplet delivery is the Jamison Triplets, born during 55 hours of (non pain-killer) labor by Louise Jamison on Jan. 2, 3 and 4, 1956. Christine was born on Jan. 2, weighing 6 pounds, her identical twin sister, Catherine, was born a day later, on Jan. 3, weighing 4 1/2 pounds, while triplet brother, Calvin, came out on Jan. 4, weighing a robust 7 pounds. The triplets celebrated their 47th birthdays in 2003. The mom, Louise, gave birth to 11 children, and passed away in 1990.

Heaviest Twins
The McGuire TwinsBilly and Benny McGuire (McCrary)
(born Dec. 7, 1946 in Henderson, NC)

Billy weighed 743 pounds and Benny weighed 723 pounds and each had 84-inch waists. They were normal in size until age 6 when both contracted German measles. They were tag-team wrestlers as adults (a Guinness Book photo of the pair is shown to the right). Billy died on July 13, 1979 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada in an automobile accident. Benny passed away on March 26, 2001 in North Carolina due to heart failure. They were married to a pair of Canadian sisters, Danielle and Maryce, who weighed 115 and 130 pounds, respectively.

Lightest Surviving Twins
Rumaisa and Haba Shaik
(born Sept. 19, 2004 in Chicago, IL)

Born at 26 weeks gestation, Rumaisa was just 8.6 ounces when born and measured a mere 9 3/4″. Her sister Heba was 1 pound, 4 ounces. They were born at the Loyola University (IL) Medical Center, one of the world’s finest hospitals for the health and well-being of very premature babies. They were both progressing well 3 months after their birth and Rumaisa was due to be released from the hospital in Jan., 2005.

While Rumaisa is the lightest twin ever to survive birth, she and her sister are not the lightest twins in terms of combined weight. Courtney and Chloe Smith of Louisiana were a combined 24.5ozs (1 lb, 8.5 ozs) at birth, and both survived.

Most Sets of Twins and Multiples Carried by One Woman
Mrs. Fyodor Vassilyev (also known as Mrs. Feodor Vassiliev or Mrs. Fyodor Vassilet) of Shuya, Russia (1707-1782), 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets, 4 sets of quadruplets

Mrs. Vassilyev gave birth to 69 children, 67 of whom survived infancy with most surviving to adulthood.She was the 1st wife of Mr. Vassiliev, and they lived outside of Shuya, Russia, and were peasants who farmed off the land. The children were born between 1725 and 1765. It was reported and recorded by a monastery in 1782. Empress Ekaterina the 2nd was supposedly very captivated by the story. It is the only authenicated case of a woman having more than 60 children. It is believed that she and her husband eventually split up, as he did remarry.

Other notable families with multiple multiples include Mrs. Mary Jones of Chester, England, who gave birth to 15 sets of fraternal boy-girl twins in the 19th Century and Maddalena Granata (1839-1866) of Nocera Superiore, Italy, who allegedly had 15 sets of triplets.

Oldest Mother of Twins
Unnamed Woman, England, 59 years old
Lauren Cohen, Paramus, NJ, 59 years, 10 months, 11 days
It is believed that the oldest women to successfully give birth to twins are Lauren Cohen of Paramus, New Jersey, and an unnamed 59-year-old woman from England (exact age unknown).
Mrs. Cohen is married to Frank Garcia with whom she also gave birth to a girl, Racquel, in December, 2004. Her twins, Giselle and Gregory, were born in New York City on May 22, 2006. The twins were conceived in vitro with the help of an egg donor. Mrs. Cohen will turn 60 on August 11, 2006.

This millionnaire businesswoman had been through menopause and was technically infertile when she was pregnated with the fertilized eggs of a 25-year-old woman in 1993 (the eggs were fertilized by her husband). She gave birth to twins on Christmas Day, 1993. The British High Court ruled in early 1994 that neither the woman’s name nor her twins’ names be revealed by the media and the family has maintained its anonymity (source: Press Association story, Jan. 12, 1994)

The record for the oldest woman to ever have a baby is now apparently Adriana Iliescu of Romania, who delivered a baby girl named Eliza Marie at age 66 years, 7+ months on January 16, 2005. Eliza Marie weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces at birth and was born at around 33 to 34 weeks of her mom’s pregnancy. Ms. Iliescu was originally pregnant with triplets, miscarried one baby, and delievered the twin sister of Eliza Marie stillborn.

Some other older moms of twins include Lin Fu-mei of Taiwan who gave birth to twins at age 58, Janet Bosher of England, who also gave birth at age 58 after seeing a London fertility clinic managed by Professor Ian Craft , Samira Ellis, a 58-year-old Israeli native who delivered boy/girl twins, Elias and Solva, in Sweden on March 8, 2003, a 57-year-old United States mother of twins, Judy Cates of Evansville, Indiana, who delivered twin girls, Margaret and Calli Sue on December 12, 1998 (Cates is 10 years older than her husband – here’s a link to a profile of the family from late 2004), a 56-year-old single mom, Aleta St. James, who delivered boy/girl twins three days shy of her 57th birthday on Nov. 9, 2004 in New York City, Lynne Bezant of England, who gave birth to boy/girl twins at age 56 on May 24, 2001 (she was also treated by Dr. Anitori) and 55-year-old, Marilyn Nolen, the women’s volleyball coach at Saint Louis University, who was profiled in USA Today in the summer of 2000. Nolen, who took part in a high-tech fertility program at the USC School of Medicine, had twin boys Travis and Ryan on March 22, 2000.

Oldest Father of Twins
Tom Lambert, Robeline, Louisiana, 78 years old

The oldest father of twins we have verifiable proof is Tom Lambert of Robeline, Louisiana, who was 78 years, 1 month old when he and his wife, Addie (Williams), 41, became the parents of twin boys, Dale and Dean, born in Natchitoches, Louisiana on March 15, 1948.Tom Lambert (1870-1964) was the father of 15 children (12 boys, 3 girls) with three wives. He and Addie had 7 children together and Tom was 60 when he married Addie, 23, in 1930. The Lambert twins continue to live in Louisiana. As of the end of 2004, 7 of the 15 children were still living. Dale and Dean have one older brother, Phillip, who is 84 (28 years older then the twins) and an 81-year-old living niece. Their oldest brother, Joe, was born in 1895, 53 years before the twins were born.

The second-oldest dad of twins we’ve heard about is Everett Franklin of Wichita, Kansas, who on August 20, 1962 at age 75 (along with his 37-year-old wife) became the parents of twins, Don and Naomi. (source: AP and Twins: Twice the Trouble, Twice the Fun). Franklin had first become a father 47 years earlier with a previous wife.

Conjoined Twins
There have been many recorded examples of conjoined twins, including perhaps the most famous pair, Chang and Eng Bunker (May 11, 1811-January 17, 1874), who travelled with Barnum and Bailey’s Circus and were married to sisters Sarah and Adelaide Yates of North Carolina (USA), fathering 21 children. The Bunker’s are history’s longest-surviving pair of conjoined twins, living to age 63-years, 8-mnoths. More detail on conjoined twins can be found elsewhere on our web site.
Most Pairs of Twins at One School
The Guinness Book of Records Web Site claims this honor belongs to P.S. 276 (Louis Marshall School) in Brooklyn, New York, which had 29 sets of twins enrolled during the 1999-2000 school year. It doesn’t say how many total students were enrolled in the elementary school during the school year, but we did determine that they 23 sets of twins among their 1520 total students during the 1998-99 school year.
Higher-Order Multiples
The McCaughey’s of Iowa (USA) gave birth to the world’s first living set of septuplets, Kenneth Robert (3lbs 4ozs), Alexis May (2lbs 11ozs), Natalie Sue (2lbs 10ozs), Kelsey Ann (2lbs 5ozs), Brandon James (2lbs 14ozs), Nathan Roy (3lbs 3ozs) and Joel Steven (2lbs 15ozs) on November 19 1997. There have since been two other sets of living septuplet births, one in Saudi Arabia in 1998 and one in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2001.The world’s first set of surviving octuplets (six girls, two boys) was born to a Houston, Texas (USA) couple, Nkem Chukwu (mother) and Iyke Louis Udobi (father), on December 20, 1998 (one baby was delivered on December 8). Despite the finest medical care available, the smallest of the octuplets, Odera (meaning ‘God has my life’) succumbed to heart and lung failure on December 27. The babies were given Ibo tribal names from the couple’s native Nigerian heritage. The eight babies weighed just over 10 combined pounds at birth. Surviving octuplets were born in Italy on September 13 and 17, 2000, but four of the eight infants later passed away.

There are three other recorded examples of births of octuplets since 1985, but none unfortunately had all eight children survive the delivery. Rosario Clavijo of Huelva, Spain gave birth to octuplets on December 5, 1996 with six of the eight babies surviving (four boys, two girls).

For more information on this subject, we invite you to read our online essay on the history of higher order multiples or visit the very well-researched Facts About Multiples web site.

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